Have you ever thought of buying a used piano? There are many reasons why a large number of people consider secondhand units compared to brand new ones. Here are three of the most popular reasons:
You do not have a lot of money to spend – Used pianos are often much more affordable compared to the new units. Even if it is a premier brand such as Steinway, Schimmel, or Baldwin, you are still able to afford their used units. Most of them are still in a very good playing condition, but it is always better to thoroughly inspect any used piano prior to buying it.
You are a beginner – Many piano teachers feel that it is better for beginners to consider acquiring a used piano. Besides being cheaper, you can easily get rid of it if you decide not to continue with your piano lessons.
You have a penchant for old musical pianos – Used pianos are not musical instruments that were released 5 or 8 years ago. It can be an antique piano that you have always admired or an old piano that is appealing to you in a few ways that only you can comprehend. Whatever the reasons might be, I highly recommend that you take the time to purchase a high quality used piano.
When you decide that a secondhand unit is best for you, it is advisable that you consider the following first before buying the used piano:
The piano keys – You need to consider the key tops, because a majority of keys comes in plastic tops or ivory tops. Ivory key tops are easily damaged, while plastic key tops are rather sturdy. Nonetheless, the latter does not have such an attractive attribute to them. Personally, I would advise that you play each used unit for a sufficient time, so that you can make sure that its keys are in perfect working condition. Keys can stick for many reasons, but if you manage to find a relatively good, used piano with sticking keys, it could be because the unit has been kept in a damp or cold climate.
Flood damage and piano woodworm – When you are shopping for secondhand pianos, you need to check if they have any flood damages or woodworm issues. To check for flood damages, you need to remove the bottom panel of the unit, which allows you to see the lower half of the iron frame and all the pedal mechanisms. You should check for a watermark, which is a discrete line where the wood changes its shade or color. Although you may not find one, it is still worth checking, as used pianos that have been in floods usually have severe internal issues.
If a used piano has a woodworm issue, you will see several tiny holes that are about 1mm in diameter and no matter how reasonably priced the piano are, you should avoid purchasing it. It is difficult to determine the level of infestation involved and from my observation, pianos with a woodworm infestation are difficult to treat.
Listen, listen, and listen – I always advise my buyers to take the time to play all the used pianos, because in doing so, it is very easy to verify if these used units are worth buying. I recommend that my customers play each key and listen cautiously for any unevenness. Listen for any rattling or buzzing sounds as well, and if you find that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the sounds and the touch response, then there is a very good chance that the secondhand unit is in a perfect condition.
You should also consider checking the pedals, woodwork, and overall finish as well. You should not buy a used piano that has many cracks and scratches, as it will be unsightly.
Do you think that buying a second hand piano entails a lengthy buying process?